Pilgrimage to Holy Hill

 Over five hundred faithful and friends of the Institute — a much larger crowd than expected—participated in a pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians at the Basilica of Holy Hill near Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Saturday, May 23. Large chapters of faithful from St. Stanislaus Oratory in Milwaukee, from St. Joseph's Oratory in Green Bay, From St. Mary's Oratory in Wausau, from St. Mary's in Cashton, from St. Mary Oratory in Rockford, and from the Shrine of Christ the King in Chicago, as well as pilgrims from the Deep South and Eastern seaboard States all converged on Holy Hill in thanksgiving to the Blessed Virgin Mary for graces received by the Institute, especially the Pontifical Right status granted by the Holy See last autumn. Despite an ominous weather forecast, sunshine broke through the threatening clouds as the pilgrims walked in procession up the hill praying the Rosary and singing Marian hymns.

Inside the crowded Basilica Reverend Canon Olivier Meney, Rector of St. Stanislaus Oratory in Milwaukee, was the celebrant of a beautiful Solemn High Mass, for which many members of the choirs of the participating apostolates joined together to provide the beautiful choral music and Gregorian Chant. From Rome Monsignor R. Michael Schmitz, Provincial Superior for the United States, sent a letter to the pilgrims conveying the best greetings and blessing of Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature in the Vatican, and of Monsignor Gilles Wach, Founder and Prior of the Institute. After an outdoor picnic lunch, the faithful gathered once again for a spiritual meditation, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and the renewal of the Consecration of the Institute to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.

A wonderful manifestation of the family spirit of the Institute, this pilgrimage expressed the power of charity to unite the faithful in the sacred Liturgy of Holy Mother Church. It is indeed through charity that the harmony of God's objective truth must be reestablished in its rightful place of precedence over subjective human reality both in society and in our own individual lives. In the sermon of the Solemn High Mass Reverend Canon Matthew Talarico reminded the faithful that they share in the mission of the Institute of Christ the King: veritatem facientes in caritate, "Living the Truth in Charity." The Catholic Faith, as well as Catholic culture and identity, can be resumed in this phrase of St. Paul. Following the example and invoking the intercession of Our Lady and of the patron saints of the Institute, we must strive to benefit from the graces we receive from the Liturgy in order to make God's truth loved by those whom we meet each day. This involves practicing charity even in the little details of daily life at home, in the workplace, at school, as well as teaching children the truth in a manner which is both gentle in its firmness and loving in correction, so that the goodness and beauty of God's truth may attract people of today's world to seek salvation in Christ and His Church.

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